PETITE STYLE TIPS – What To Wear If You Have A Petite Frame
style & fashion
Good things come in small packages – we bet all the petite ladies reading this have heard that a few times in their lives!
What To Wear When You’re Petite
As clothes debut on the runway courtesy of very tall and statuesque supermodels, it can sometimes leave more petite fashionistas wondering how they will avoid being swamped by the new-season pieces, and how they can adapt them for their own body types.
How To Dress When You’re Short
We’ve received quite a few comments recently about how ladies with smaller frames can style some of our pieces, but also for petite style advice in general. And as we live to serve – especially where fashion advice is concerned – we’ve put together some tips for petite women to get the most out of their wardrobes, and exude style and confidence every single time.
Here are just a few style tips that we have picked up over the years…
Style Stalk Your Favourite Petite Celebrities
Most A-listers have a dedicated style team for everything from their street style looks to their red carpet looks, so there’s a good chance that your favourite petite celebrity already knows all the best sartorial tips and tricks for her body type.
Stylish Petite Celebrities
From Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Richie at 5’2 and 5’1 respectively, to Victoria Beckham and Sarah Jessica Parker who surprisingly are just 5’3, we follow many stylish small and mighty celebrities on social media, and always pick up a few helpful tips along the way. Budgets may be very, very different, but the advice is definitely the same!
Remember, not all petites have the same body type, so finding a style muse that is your exact shape (for example, Reese Witherspoon is a petite rectangle) will be even better!
Apply The Rule Of Thirds
Always remember the rule of thirds when shopping for flattering new additions to your wardrobe. Splitting the body into two equal sections will cut the body in half and make you look disproportioned. Splitting it in thirds, on the other hand, will offer a more even distribution and make you look taller and more proportioned.
Split your outfit up into three sections using a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio to create a more appealing silhouette. They don’t call it the Golden Ratio for nothing!A top teamed with high waisted trousers, a cropped top with a maxi skirt, a skirt with a T-shirt tucked inside with a belt added on top, or even a longline jumper paired with a mini skirt are all great examples of the rule of thirds. As is a cute tea dress broken up with a belt…
What Dresses Can Petite Women Wear?
Dresses are actually a safe bet for petite women, as long as you remember the rule of thirds. A monochrome dress, with the waist nipped in with a thin belt (don’t choose anything too wide as it will overwhelm your figure)is a great way to wear an elegant, feminine dress without the risk of drowning in it. The belt divides the dress into thirds which instantly creates a more flattering and more proportioned silhouette.
Match Your Belt To Your Bottoms
If you choose to wear a belt with your skirt or trousers, wearing one in the same or a very similar colour can instantly make you look taller. This will trick the eye into believing your legs are longer!
Choose The Right Trousers
Flared jeans and flared trousers add length to the legs and make them look longer. Unlike cropped or skinny jeans, they finish below the ankle, which means the silhouette is extended, and you guessed it, you’ll instantly look taller. But avoid cropped flares at all costs!
Skinny Jeans For Petite Women
Skinny jeans are another great option, as are high waisted trousers, as they instantly elongate your legs.
Pleated trousers are another winner for petite women, as the vertical lines created on the legs give the illusion of added height and longer legs. Isn’t it amazing what the right clothes can do?
What Shoes Should Petite Women Wear?
Choose Delicate, Not Chunky Heels
Adding some height by way of some high heels is an obvious way to instantly add some height, but not all heels are created equal. As the number one rule when it comes to styling a petite shape is to maintain a well-proportioned silhouette, ensure that the shoes aren’t too big and in-your-face that they command too much attention.
Cute summer wedges are a great choice for subtly adding height, but steer clear of chunky block heels or anything too overwhelming such as platforms, as they will actually make you look shorter than you are.
Wear Ankle Boots
Ankle boots are usually a better choice than knee high or over the knee boots (excerpt for with maxi skirts, which we’ll get into a little further down), as anything above the ankle will cut off your legs, which isn’t great if you don’t have much space to work with in the first place!
When it comes to heels, we think the more delicate, the better. Go one step further and choose nude heels that match your skin tone as closely as possible. This way, your leg and foot won’t be cut off, and your legs will appear longer and sleeker in an instant.
Stilettos are the number one choice, and pointed styles are usually preferred as they are dainty and elegant. They’ll give you height and complement your outfit beautifully!
Short And Cropped Jackets
When selecting smarter clothes such as jackets and blazers, choose short tailored styles, as anything that sits right at the waist will give the illusion of longer legs. A peplum style that flares out at the hips can also give the illusion of a curvier silhouette.
How To Wear Longer Silhouettes
If you want something a little longer, then bring that fabric way down to the knees, as a knee length coat will create a long line from the shoulders to the knees and make the whole body look longer, as well as give the illusion of extra height.
We also love longline cardigans, and they work especially well when worn open to create sleek, vertical lines to elongate the body. Choosing one the same length as your dress for those crisp spring/summer months is another great option that won’t disturb the silhouette and will actually make you look taller.
Mini Over Maxi
Don’t be afraid to show a little leg!
Traditionally, petite women have favoured mini and midi skirts over maxis, and it’s exactly for the reason you would expect. Maxi means more fabric to potentially drown your figure, so mini would naturally work better for petite frames.
How To Wear A Maxi Skirt
However, petite girls absolutely can wear maxi skirts too – and they can wear them for all four seasons! Maxi skirts look great in the autumn/winter, especially when paired with knee high boots or over the knee boots. The trick to not drowning in the skirt is to choose boots that match the skirt – or parts of the skirt – as closely as possible, for a streamlined silhouette that isn’t broken up.
As far as styling a maxi skirt for summer is concerned, the same rules apply too – stick to the rule of thirds and choose your footwear wisely.
Can Petite Women Wear Maxi Dresses?
Maxi Dresses For Petite Women
Petite girls shouldn’t be afraid of maxi dresses either!
A maxi dress can elongate your body frame when worn correctly, so choose the colour and print very carefully. Large prints and florals should be scrapped in favour of smaller and more delicate ones. Monochrome pieces are great, as they can create the illusion of height, so choose solid, block colours and break them up with a strategically placed thin belt.
Maxi Dresses With Slits
Another great trick is to wear a maxi dress with a slit, as exposing some skin will stop the dress from swamping you.
Befriend The Tailor
We have our tailor on speed dial, and we’re confident that most other petite women will say the same thing. It goes without saying, but when buying a maxi skirt or maxi dress that isn’t specifically designed for petite ladies,they’ll most likely need to be tailored.
But don’t let that put you off purchasing that piece you’ve been lusting after, just because it doesn’t come in a petite range. Skirts and dresses are usually very easy to alter unless it’s from a dedicated tall range for ladies with longer torsos, and once you find a tailor you’re happy with, taking clothes to them to adjust will be second nature.
Choose Smaller Accessories
Large accessories may be very en-vogue right now, but they can overwhelm petite frames, so try and choose smaller and daintier alternatives. Go for a small to medium handbag as opposed to a large oversized tote. Yes it does mean you’ll have to carry less, as fewer items will fit in your bag, but it will be worth it!
PS: Click here to have a sneaky preview of our New Arrivals
Have a great day!